News / USA

    US Youth 'High 5' Fellow Girls in Developing Countries

    American girls show solidarity with their less fortunate counterparts around the world

    An American girl in Chicago, Illinois signs onto the 'Girl Up' campaign which helps less fortunate girls in other countries.
    An American girl in Chicago, Illinois signs onto the 'Girl Up' campaign which helps less fortunate girls in other countries.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Faiza Elmasry

    Girls in the United States are more educated, socially connected and empowered than ever, but that is not the case for many of their counterparts in developing countries who still struggle to attend school, see a doctor or to cultivate meaningful roles in their communities.

    However, a campaign for girls, by girls, is out to change that. Betsy Cribb was one of more than 300 girls who came to New York City to kick off the Girl Up Campaign.

    'Girl Up'

    "It's a for girls by girls campaign," she says. "It uses American girls' resources and energy to raise awareness for girls in the developing countries and really give them a voice because they don't have the opportunity to speak for themselves."

    The campaign is sponsored by the United Nations Foundation, a charity that supports U.N. causes. Its spokeswoman, Elizabeth Gore, says Girl Up is off to an exciting start.

    This girl in Ethiopia is among the young people worldwide that 'Girl Up' hopes to help.
    This girl in Ethiopia is among the young people worldwide that 'Girl Up' hopes to help.

    "I would describe it as walking into a room with the most passionate young girls from all economic backgrounds, all ethnic backgrounds, working together and really learning about girls globally, from Malawi to Ethiopia to Guatemala to Liberia," says Gore. "Not only did they really want to understand the statistics - like one in four girls unfortunately experience violence before they are 18 or one in seven girls are married in developing countries before the age of 15, and they were just so blown away by that - but they really wanted to know stories about these girls. They wanted to understand, are they like them? Do they like boys? Are they going to school?"

    Spreading the word

    Now, back at home, the girls who attended the kick off are spreading the word about the campaign. Cribb - a senior at a girls school in Charleston, South Carolina, is writing a blog and making presentations.

    "What I plan to do is take the Girl Up Campaign to schools around Charleston and raise awareness and raise funds," Cribb says. "I'm actually speaking to my church youth group about the Girl Up campaign this Sunday. Then, I'm going to my former middle school to talk to them in a few weeks."

    Girl Up also has global advocates like Queen Rania of Jordan and MTV executive Judy McGrath, along with celebrity supporters including fashion photographer Nigel Barker, teen actress Victoria Justice and singer-songwriter Crystal Bowersox.

    "We want to lift the young women up and give them the resources they need to live productive, good lives," Bowersox says.

    High five

    As she travels around the country with the campaign, Bowersox talks about giving girls in developing countries a High Five. She's not talking about the hand-to-hand slap of greeting.

    "What that is is to take five minutes to learn about the issues that are impacting these young women in these nations that we are focusing on," she explains. "Once you learn about these things and what these girls go through every day, you can share what you've learned with five friends. When those five friends tell five friends, the numbers can grow exponentially. Then if every one those people that you tell donates $5, it can provide school supplies for more than 100 girls in countries like Malawi. It can help provide for building supplies, to transform a one-room health clinic to a fully operating health center. Or it can put up a billboard in Malawi that will ask for the end of childhood marriage."

    While the campaign is designed to benefit girls in developing countries, UNF's Elizabeth Gore says, it also helps American girls explore their potential and become leaders.

    "I truly believe you don't have to be a head of state or a diplomat to be a global leader," she says. "Frankly, you can be a global leader at 13 years old. We have an advisory board of teen girls. There are 18 of them from all over the country. They are truly telling us how to run this campaign. And I believe because of them, we will succeed."

    Gore says the Girl Up campaign is a chance for American girls to step up, save lives and bring about global change

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora